Archive for the ‘News’ Category

General Synod worship will aim for ‘newness in the familiar’

Posted on: April 30th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Worship at General Synod 2016 will encourage members to reflect on “how we are hearing God speak to us through Scripture,” says the Rev. Martha Tatarnic, chair of the worship committee. Photo:  André Forget

When General Synod meets in Richmond Hill, Ont., July 7-12, the worship will focus on getting back to the roots of the Anglican liturgy, according to the Rev. Martha Tatarnic, chair of the General Synod 2016 worship committee.

While the emphasis in planning worship for the previous General Synod, in 2013, was on innovation, the hope this year is that people will “experience something of God’s newness in the familiar,” said Tatarnic.

“This General Synod, I think, is much more about being grounded in what has been passed along to us,” said Tatarnic, who served on the worship committee at the last meeting as well. “There is the expectation that through those traditional pieces…baptism, [The Lord’s] table, Scripture…we will have a new experience of God at work in our midst.”

Tatarnic said the worship committee’s work has been guided by three principles: a desire to make the worship Scripture-centric, commitment to ensuring the space feels sacred and attentiveness to the synod’s theme, “You Are My Witnesses” (Isaiah 43:10).

The committee is considering text-based forms of worship like Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) and the practice of gospel-based discipleship common among First Nations Anglicans, to encourage members to reflect “how we are hearing God speak to us through Scripture.”

Tatarnic acknowledged that the emphasis on time spent thinking and praying about Scripture was shaped by the fact that members of synod will be voting on whether or not to change the church’s Canon XXI to allow for same-sex marriage.

“This is a difficult conversation for many—there certainly is the anticipation afloat in the church that it will be controversial, or that it will be divisive,” she said. “I would say the worship committee is very much attentive to lifting up our common ground, lifting up the places in our faith that actually are the source of our unity.”

But the worship will also reflect the diversity of the church, Tatarnic said. On July 10, the day on which matters of particular interest to Indigenous Anglicans will be discussed, the Sunday morning Eucharist will be planned and led by Indigenous leaders.

“It has been a great opportunity to work with [the Indigenous leaders],” she said. “We have tried very much to be attentive to that conversation, [it] being such a big piece of what we are doing together this summer at General Synod in terms of truth and reconciliation.”

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.


Anglican Journal News, April 15, 2016

Vancouver church plans intentional community for young adults

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

The hope of Hineni House is that participants will be able to discern their vocation, whether they conceptualize it in spiritual terms or not, says program director Anita Laura Fonseca. Photo: Contributed

A Vancouver rectory is set to become one of the newest of a number of intentional communities recently planned or launched by Anglicans in Canada.

This September, St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage, an Anglican church in East Vancouver, will launch its first 11-month program at Hineni House, a small-scale spiritual community intended for young adults.

A goal of the program is to encourage an “open spirituality,” and applicants don’t need to be Anglican or even believe in God at all to be accepted, says program director Anita Laura Fonseca. The hope, above all, is that the program will enable Hineni House members to discern their vocation, whether that is conceptualized in religious terms or not.

“Even though we are a faith community and spiritual practices will be a part of it…if people come from no faith and consider themselves to be atheists, for example, we would use the resources that we have to help them in their discernment journey, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a spiritual journey,” she says.

The idea for Hineni arose about five years ago, Fonseca says, when St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage was pondering what to do with its rectory. Eventually the parish settled on a discernment program for people in the 18–30 age range, partly inspired by the Episcopal Service Corps, a network of intentional communities for young adults that is affiliated with The Episcopal Church.

“That just seemed to work perfectly with what the church wants to offer,” she says.

In support of the project, St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage received a grant of $10,000 for youth leadership projects from the Anglican Foundation of Canada. “This project of intentional communal living, service to the community and spiritual discernment fit with [the Foundation’s] mandate,” says executive administrator Scott Brubacher.

Up to five participants will stay at Hineni House each year. Alongside their regular work or studies, residents will follow a program of discernment and conflict resolution, including retreats and workshops, with Hineni House’s spiritual directors, psychological counsellors and mentors. The cost of $700 includes rent, Internet and all programming, counselling and retreats.

Hineni House will join a number of new Anglican-originated intentional communities for young people in Canada. In 2014, the parish of Christ Church in Edmonton and the diocese of Edmonton jointly launched Ascension House, a six-person community for people 18–25. The Companions on the Way program, an initiative of the Sisters of St. John the Divine in Toronto aimed at women 22–40, is slated to start this September.

A particularly high-profile international program is the Community of St. Anselm at Lambeth Palace, official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which launched with 16 young adults last September.

The Rev. Scott Sharman, Ascension House director, says there may be something of a movement afoot as many people today—perhaps younger people especially—are becoming aware that “we need to try to live together in a different way, because it’s not sustainable to all just be islands unto ourselves…We’re seeing some of the limitations of being able to do that—economically, and environmentally, and relationally, and perhaps even spiritually.”

Sharman says it’s too early, however, to say how successful this movement will be. And indeed, both Fonseca and Canon Sr. Constance Joanna Gefvert, co-ordinator of SSJD’s program, say response to their programs has not been what they would have hoped.

Fonseca says it’s possible some would-be applicants may be feeling a bit deterred by the newness of the program. What many people may not realize, she says, is that this very newness presents the program’s first set of residents with a unique opportunity to make their mark.

“We’re going to figure it out with whoever comes first,” she says. “They’re the ones that are going to help us shape not just the community they’ll be in, but the entire program.”

One challenge facing organizers of Ascension House, Sharman says, has been how to balance participants’ desire to shape the community with the need for some sort of rule of life.

“We have found that a bit of challenge—how to give a little bit of freedom and a little bit of internal direction in setting the course, but not just letting it devolve into everyone doing their own thing, which sort of misses the point,” he says.

His advice for anyone setting up a new intentional community?

“Try to talk to as many people as you can who are farther along the road in this type of thing,” he says. “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”


Anglican Journal News, April 19, 2016

PWRDF appoints development veteran as new director

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Anglican Journal staff

Archbishop Fred Hiltz (middle), primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and president of the PWRDF board, and Adele Finney (right), PWRDF executive director, welcome William Postma. Photo: Simon Chambers

On June 13, William Postma, who has been working in international development since 1991, will assume the role of executive director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Postma recently served as the vice-president, programs and research, at Pathways to Education, a non-government organization that helps youth from low-income communities finish high school and transition into post-secondary education or the workplace.

He has also worked with Save the Children Canada, World Vision and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. He is the chair of Citizens for Public Justice, a faith-based organization that advocates for social and ecological justice in Canadian public policy.

Postma was not available for comment about his appointment.

In a press release, Maureen Lawrence, vice-president of the PWRDF board and leader of the search committee, said the fund “look[s] forward to working with Will because of his wide and varied experience in areas of concern to PWRDF.” The board also “anticipate[s] that his leadership will build on the work in place and enhance he reputation that PWRDF enjoys both nationally and internationally,” she said.

Postma succeeds  Adele Finney,  who will retire in May after serving as executive director since 2010.


Anglican Journal News, April 29, 2016

Five to receive Anglican Award of Merit

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Five people are being honoured with an Anglican Award of Merit this year: Jennifer Henry, an ecumenical social justice advocate; Suzanne Lawson, a representative to the Anglican Consultative Council; Trevor J.D. Powell, a church archivist; David Stovel, a portfolio manager and trustee for a number of church benefit plans; and Peter A. Whitmore, a judge and former chancellor of the diocese of Qu’Appelle.

This year, five people are being honoured with an Anglican Award of Merit, which recognizes lay people for their outstanding contributions to the life and work of the Anglican Church of Canada.

During its spring meeting, Council of General Synod (CoGS) voted to approve a resolution naming the following awardees: Jennifer Henry, an ecumenical social justice advocate; Suzanne Lawson, a representative to the Anglican Consultative Council; Trevor J.D. Powell, a church archivist; David Stovel, a portfolio manager and trustee for a number of church benefit plans; and Peter A. Whitmore, a judge and former chancellor of the diocese of Qu’Appelle.

“I was honoured that those who nominated me are colleagues I so deeply respect,” Henry said. “We have a shared commitment to the ecumenical justice movement that is stronger than the sum of its parts.”

Henry, executive director of ecumenical social justice group KAIROS Canada, has worked as a social justice advocate for more than 20 years. She serves on the Good Jobs Roundtable, an initiative led by private-sector union Unifor; the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice; and the board of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice.

Lawson, who has participated in three meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council, said she felt both honoured and humbled to have been named a recipient.

“I have gradually and sometimes bumpily become who I am because of those within the church who, over my whole life, have taught, mentored and encouraged me,” Lawson said. “In many ways, it should be their reward. I receive it to acknowledge the gratitude I feel towards them and towards this wonderful, complex church in which we live out our ministry together as Anglicans.”

Powell has served as archivist and registrar for the diocese of Qu’Appelle and archivist for the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land. He was also cited for the leadership role he played among diocesan archivists across Canada in providing access to records related to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Said Powell, “I’m thrilled at being selected to receive this national honour. It’s not often that one has the opportunity to contribute to the work of the church at the diocesan, provincial and national levels.”

Stovel, vice-president and portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management, said he was “truly honoured” to receive the award. Stovel described the board of trustees of the General Synod Pension Plan, on which he sits, as “without a doubt the most professional and competent board that I know.”

Added Stovel, “My involvement over the past 30 years has been most personally rewarding, and I have appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the financial well-being of the clergy.”

Whitmore said he felt in good company when he learned of the other recipients.

“I am without words,” he said. “I am honoured just to be considered for this award, and know that there are many others who have done so much more than I have. I am most fortunate to have been entrusted to provide assistance to the diocese of Qu’Appelle and the church over the years, and have received much more than I have ever given.”

Whitmore, a justice of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, has also served as vice-chancellor and chancellor of the diocese of Qu’Appelle. His award recognized, among other things, the role he played for the diocese and General Synod in working out a settlement agreement for residential school survivors.

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, April 08, 2016

Bishop Andrews to head Wycliffe College

Posted on: April 27th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Bishop Stephen Andrews, of the diocese of Algoma, says that as principal of Wycliffe College, he hopes to use his relationships with other bishops to build links to the wider church. Photo: Diocese of Algoma

Bishop Stephen Andrews, of the diocese of Algoma, has been named the next principal of Wycliffe College, the Toronto theological school announced last week.

“Stephen brings to the job an exceptional blend of scholarship, leadership and a deep experience in both the academy and the church,” Bob Hamilton, chair of Wycliffe’s board of trustees and search committee, said in a statement released April 21. “His leadership will allow Wycliffe to continue to bring innovative change to theological education.”

Asked by the Anglican Journal what had attracted him to the position, Andrews said, “I’m both a parish priest and an academic, and I’ve had a conviction that theology needs to be worked out in the church for the church, and that that’s the primary role of theological college—to prepare church leaders who can carry on the work of theology in the context of the local parish.”

One of his priorities as principal, Andrews said, will be to build links to the wider church—something he hoped his existing good relationships with other bishops would facilitate.

Andrews’ last day as bishop of Algoma will be July 31, and his first day as principal August 1.

Andrews, who has served as bishop of Algoma since 2009, is a Wycliffe alumnus, having received his MDiv there in 1984. He was ordained in Nova Scotia in 1986 and served as assistant curate at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Halifax, until 1990. He then completed a PhD at Cambridge University’s Faculty of Divinity in 1995.

This will not be Andrews’ first role in academic administration. In 2001, after serving as principal of the James Settee College for Ministry, a school for Indigenous church leaders in Prince Albert, Sask., he was chosen president, provost and vice-chancellor of Thorneloe University College, an Anglican-affiliated school on the campus of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. He held this position until his election as bishop, and continued thereafter to occasionally teach religious studies at Laurentian, with the position of associate professor.

Andrews has held a number of roles in church and government bodies, including prolocutor of General Synod, clergy representative to the Anglican Consultative Council and chair of the Ontario Provincial Commission on Theological Education.

Although a precise date for the election of his replacement has not yet been fixed, Andrews said, sometime in October is likely.

Andrews’ predecessor at Wycliffe, George Sumner, resigned last year to become bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Dallas.

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, April 27, 2016

Joint Anglican-Lutheran youth gathering sells out

Posted on: April 26th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Participants assemble at the 2014 Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering. Photo by Hannah Shirtliff

Participants assemble at the 2014 Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering. Photo by Hannah Shirtliff

Joint Anglican-Lutheran youth gathering sells out

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When Anglican and Lutheran youth come together for their national gathering later this summer in Charlottetown, P.E.I., they will be doing so with a sold-out crowd.

The National Planning Committee for the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering recently announced that the venue had reached its maximum capacity for the 2016 event and no new registrations will be accepted.

More than 950 people will attend the 2016 CLAY gathering, August 17-24, on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island, which is the largest conference facility available for the location.

Organizers say this year’s registration is a 33% increase over the 2012 gathering in Saskatoon, Sask., and a 55% increase over final registration numbers for the 2014 CLAY gathering which took place in Kamloops, B.C.

All Home Teams who have submitted their registration have received an email confirmation. Home Team Leaders who have questions about their registration should contact the gathering registrar at [email protected]. Local volunteers, gathering guests and presenters who still need to register for the event will be able to do so.

CLAY is held every two years and brings together youth from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada for worship, fellowship, learning together, engaging in issues important to youth, and a servant event that will involve the local community.

Visit for more information on the event.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, April 22, 2016

General Synod to consider bilateral dialogue with Mennonites

Posted on: April 5th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Archdeacon Bruce Myers, the Anglican Church of Canada’s co-ordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, thinks Anglicans and Mennonites have much to teach each other. Photo: Contributed

Anglicans and Mennonites in Canada haven’t historically had much to do with each other, but that could change if General Synod—which meets July 7-12—votes to adopt a resolution put forward by the faith, worship and ministry committee to enter into a five-year, bilateral dialogue with Mennonite Church Canada.

Archdeacon Bruce Myers, until recently the Anglican Church of Canada’s co-ordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, said this would be the first time the Anglican Church of Canada has engaged in a bilateral dialogue with a denomination from the Anabaptist tradition. In an interview with the Anglican Journal, he explained why he thinks the two groups could learn a lot from each other.

“The Anglican Church of Canada, is increasingly…becoming a church on the margins, a church away from the centres of power, when historically we were a church of empire, establishment and privilege,” he said. “Mennonites have [made]…a conscious decision to be very separate from the principalities and powers, and to take a stance that is often in opposition to empire.”

Myers said the decision to consider a dialogue has also been spurred by increasing grassroots interaction and co-operation between Mennonites and Anglicans in cities such as Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo, which have large Mennonite populations.

While the Canadian church has often focused on matters of doctrine in its bilateral dialogues, with an aim to finding areas of agreement or common understanding, Myers said that conversations with the Mennonite church would be more about what he called “receptive ecumenism”—an approach to dialogue that works to learn from rather than to resolve differences.

“Doctrinal questions, like baptism—we know the differences and how we practise and understand baptism, that’s already been documented and it’s not necessarily a theological knot we need to start to untie at this moment,” he said. “[But] what is it like for a church like ours to learn to be something [Mennonites] have almost always been, which is outside the centre and increasingly marginalized?”

In terms of what the Anglican church might offer to Mennonites, Myers explained that many younger Mennonites have been drawn to Anglicanism because of its liturgical traditions and sense of “sacramental life.”

In fact, it was an increasing awareness about the amount of grassroots interaction between members of both denominations that led to a consideration of a formal dialogue in the first place, Myers said. He added that Mennonites and Anglicans sometimes consider themselves as belonging to both traditions.

“In Winnipeg especially…there are all sorts of people who happily migrate between [the Anglican churches of] st. benedict’s table and St. Margaret’s and Mennonite community churches, and are students at Canadian Mennonite University,” he said. “That creates all sorts of interesting questions for ecumenism, because all of the models of the ecumenical engagement at this point have been predicated on individuals being deeply rooted and formed in a particular ecclesial identity.”

While General Synod considers the motion in July, MCC will be looking at a similar motion during its own assembly in Saskatoon during the same week. Following the assembly’s close July 10, Myers said, MCC executive director Willard Metzger would participate at General Synod in Richmond Hill, Ont., as an observer.


Anglican Journal News, April 05, 2016

WCC to stage conference on reconciliation in indigenous contexts

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Members of the Sami Church Council of Church of Norway, at a pre-meeting in Tromsø, Norway.
Photo Credit: Tore Johnsen / WCC

[WCC] The World Council of Churches (WCC) will convene a conference on the theme “Reconciliation Processes in Indigenous Contexts” in Trondheim, Norway, on 20-21 June. The conference, which will be hosted by the Sami Church Council (Church of Norway), will be held in connection with the WCC Central Committee meeting on 22-28 June, also in Trondheim.

Tore Johnsen, general secretary of the Sami Church Council in Norway and moderator of the WCC’s Indigenous Peoples’ Programme Reference Group, says “the link to the WCC Central Committee meeting is important, because it provides visibility to indigenous peoples as an important voice in the ecumenical movement.”

Central to the conference are two thematic focuses, “Truth and Healing” and “Reconciliation and Transformation.”

Johnsen explains, “The theme of ‘Truth and Healing’ is of particular value from an indigenous perspective since the denial of truth is a root cause of the trauma and marginalization experienced by indigenous peoples. Truth-telling challenges the cultures of silence, ignorance and denial, which in so many places are still distorting the relationships between indigenous peoples and majority populations. Truth-telling also involves restoring our own voices, as part of our own healing.”

Johnsen adds, “True reconciliation, however, also involves transformation, a movement from truth to changed relationships, which is critical in the ongoing struggles for indigenous peoples’ rights and dignity. The conference will bring together important experiences from various parts of the world, and we hope to connect the insights with the WCC’s overarching work on the pilgrimage of justice and peace.”

“This connection, we believe, will also provide keys for strengthening the presence and contribution of indigenous peoples to the ecumenical movement in the years to come”, Johnsen concludes.


Anglican Communion News Service,  ACNS daily update on Monday 4 April 2016

Yukon bishop to take on dual role as parish priest

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Bishop Larry Robertson and his wife Sheila—seen here in 2010 at his installation as bishop of the diocese of Yukon —will soon be moving to a parish within the diocese where the bishop will double as parish priest. Submitted photo

Bishop Larry Robertson and his wife Sheila—seen here in 2010 at his installation as bishop of the diocese of Yukon —will soon be moving to a parish within the diocese where the bishop will double as parish priest. Submitted photo

Yukon bishop to take on dual role as parish priest

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Complementing the mitre he wears as bishop of the Anglican diocese of Yukon, Bishop Larry Robertson is about to try on an old hat again—that of parish priest.

In an experiment designed to make the most of diocesan resources, Bishop Robertson and his wife plan to move this summer into a parish—one yet to be determined—that currently lacks any stipendiary clergy. There the bishop will serve as the parish priest for an intended period of three years, taking on duties related to local ministry in addition to his role as diocesan bishop.

“I’m excited about it,” Bishop Robertson said.

“On a personal basis, it’s getting back into [parish] ministry. One of the things I think that as bishops we often lose touch of, is what’s happening in a parish. So in that sense, I’m really looking forward to it … I really think it’s a positive move in spreading the ministry and serving the people of the Yukon.”

The idea of moving the bishop into a parish emerged out of discussions on how the diocese could best serve its members, following years in which diminishing financial support had led to an ever-smaller pool of clergy.

The diocese of Yukon currently has three paid clergy, with volunteers comprising the bulk of those engaged in ministry. The challenges of ministering to the population with such a small staff prompted discussions in recent years among the diocesan leadership about how to best maximize their resources.

Both Bishop Robertson and his predecessor, Bishop Terry Buckle, had raised the idea of the bishop moving into a parish. At the last diocesan synod, members formally asked Bishop Robertson if he would be willing to make the move.

“You’ll have to choose a parish,” he replied, further adding some key qualifications. Other than a house to stay in, these included being able to travel out of the parish and having local lay leadership available to fill in when the bishop is gone.

A committee of people from across the diocese formed to choose a suitable parish. The Rev. Sarah Usher, diocesan administrative officer, has visited major churches in five parishes seen as potential contenders. Each parish in turn has provided their own views to the committee, which intends to make its decision at the May diocesan executive meeting.

Bishop Larry Robertson

Asked how he would balance his duties as bishop with the tasks of a parish priest, Bishop Robertson responded with a hearty laugh: “Very carefully!” He highlighted the necessity of strong planning, while acknowledging that he would now have to be in the parish for major festivals such as Easter and Christmas rather than visiting other parts of the diocese.

“There’ll be a lot of communication with the parish, and we’re going to have to keep revising things and seeing how things go,” the bishop said, noting that improved communication technology such as smartphones would make organization and providing updates much easier.

For Usher, the main benchmarks of success will be whether the diocese is able to minister to more people and if the bishop can raise people within the congregation to more lay ministry.

“He’ll be in the community and being able to talk with others all the time,” Usher said. “But the success for him will be to raise people up to do ministry when he’s not around.”

While anxious to hear about which parish he will be moving to and adopting a wait-and-see approach regarding the eventual success of the plan, Bishop Robertson expressed his excitement about the move.

By providing another experienced priest to a parish, he hopes to ease the workload of full-time clergy who are currently expected to take part in training and working with volunteers, both locally trained and those in the ministry of presence program.

“More than anything, that’s what we’re concerned about: how do we serve our people?” the bishop said.

“Is it going to be the same?” he added. “No, it will be different. There won’t be quite as many parish visits from the bishop.

“But in the long run, we are hoping that it enables more people to receive the services of the church and of the priests … more people able to be trained, [and] more people able to grow in Christ and to receive the healing and the ministry of the church.”


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, March 31, 2016

Canadian priest to lead U.S.-based SSJE

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Br. James Koester, who joined the Society of St. John the Evangelist in 1992, has served as brother-in-charge of the society’s Emery House, an SSJE monastery in rural Massachusetts, and as deputy superior. Photo: Contributed

For the first time since the Canadian chapter of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) joined its American counterpart in 1984, a Canadian will serve as the monastic order’s brother superior, following the election of Br. James Koester at the beginning of March.

Speaking to the Anglican Journal in an interview following the election, Koester, a native of Regina, Sask., said he found the new role “slightly daunting,” but was excited about the possibilities involved.

“This is a transitional period for monastic communities,” he explained. “As the church enters this increasingly post-Christian North American culture, monastic communities…have a really important role to play, because we, I think, can become monk-missionaries once again.”

Koester said his focus as brother superior for the SSJE, which is based in Cambridge, Mass., will be on working to increase the number of monastic vocations and increasing awareness of the monastic option among Anglicans.

“It is important for people to know that a monastic vocation is a viable option in the life of the church,” he said. “If people want to give themselves over completely for the sake of the gospel, a monastic vocation is one way of doing that.”

Colin Johnson, archbishop of the dioceses of Toronto and Moosonee and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, said Koester is an “excellent choice” for the position.

“He is gifted at asking those questions that people need to be asked to prompt them in new directions and new thoughts about their relationship with God, and their relationship with each other and the world,” said Johnson, who has known Koester since they were students at the University of Toronto’s Trinity College more than 30 years ago.

Koester himself became involved with the society as a university student in Peterborough, Ont., in the early 1980s through its house in Bracebridge, Ont. (now closed), after seeing an advertisement for the order in the Canadian Churchman (predecessor to the Anglican Journal).

But although the society no longer has any chapter houses in Canada, Koester noted that the order remains active throughout Canada, both through its presence at clergy and lay leadership retreats in Canada and by hosting Canadian Anglicans at its monastery in Cambridge.

The SSJE,  a monastic community of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, also holds money in trust for ministry in Canada, Johnson said.

Ordained a priest in the diocese of British Columbia in 1985, he was professed as a brother of the SSJE in 1992, and since then has served as brother-in-charge of the society’s Emery House, an SSJE monastery in rural Massachusetts, and as deputy superior.

He succeeds Br. Geoffrey Tristram SSJE, who served as superior for six years.

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.


Anglican Journal News, March 31, 2016